John Warner remembers Elizabeth Taylor

By Ryan Nobles - bio | email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) -  The death of movie star Elizabeth Taylor is sending ripples through the entertainment community tonight.

But while Taylor was an icon in Hollywood, she played a significant role in launching an important political career right here Virginia.

Taylor's fifth marriage was to a former naval officer by the name of John Warner.

That was in 1976, right before John Warner launched a campaign for the U.S. Senate.

Taylor criss- crossed Virginia with her groom, playing a big part in his election.

Warner said he never would've had the chance to serve 5 terms and 30 years in the Senate, if Elizabeth Taylor had not come into his life.

In the summer of 1978, Elizabeth Taylor was as big a star as anyone in the world.

She was also in love with a man who wanted to be a Senator. So she did what any good wife would do. Even one who was recognized instantly, everywhere she went.

"I would say, she was my quote -partner- end quote in what appeared to be an impossible political challenge for the United States Senate," Warner said

Taylor hit the campaign trail with Warner, visiting virtually every part of Virginia. Like a swanky heart benefit in Richmond.

Wherever she went, she attracted huge crowds, like an event at the Meadowbrook Country Club, filled with local Republican women.

Warner was considered a long shot for the senate. Taylor's star power drew crowds and no doubt boosted him in the polls.

Something he never forgot.

"We were friends till the end" he said.  "And likewise, my children and her children were bonded."

They divorced just 3 years after he was elected, but her impact was already realized. Warner went on to become a Washington icon, running unopposed at one point. He eventually was able to step down on his own terms.

This section of Taylor's life was worthy of a script of its own, a piece of Hollywood that played a direct impact on Virginia's dusty political trail more than three decades ago.

John Warner said that he will be there at Elizabeth Taylor's funeral.

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